Students in 8th grade recently made musical instruments and recorded a music video about sound waves for their science class. Students used GarageBand and iMovie to make their music videos with the help of the Making the Band website and project planner. Students had a lot of choice in this project. They chose their teammates or chose to work alone. They
chose what instruments to make and how. They also chose what kind of music to make... sort of; it's difficult to make music with home made instruments, but several were very successful. Regardless of the quality of the song, students had fun and learned a lot about sound. More student videos can be seen here.
will report back to the ITAC committee on the successes and failures of the devices throughout this testing phase to help the committee make informed decisions about purchasing new devices. In addition to these devices, the middle school computer lab was replaced by a cart with MacBooks. This means that since the end of the 2013-14 school year, fifth and 6th grade have tripled their access to laptops and devices. In the photos you can see 5th grade students using the MacBooks to learn about the kingdoms of life in Science class. You can also see students in 6th grade using the Chromebooks to learn about the American Revolution. Students are engaged and excited to be using these tools in their classrooms.
Students in 7th grade math used technology throughout the unit on scale and proportion. The unit began with a discussion about how people use scale in every day life. We discussed how movie makers use scale models, engineers and architects use scale to create construction drawings, and toymakers use scale to make adult sized objects just right for children. For the first activity, students measured simple geometric objects and created them in Sketchup at their original size and then smaller or larger based on a random scale factor. Students shared their Sketchup drawing in a shared Google folder, and then downloaded one of their peer's drawings to determine their scale factor.
For the final project for the scale and proportion unit, students chose to create a scaled version of famous landmarks, everyday objects or areas of school. Working in teams, students could choose to create a scale model, diorama or 3-D drawing of their object. Some of the students who chose to create their object in Sketchup or Tinkercad will have their object printed on the high school 3-D printer. Scale and proportion are a big part of our everyday lives in many ways. This unit provided hands-on and tech-on opportunities for students make connections and apply proportional thinking.
Students used a graphic organizer in a Google Doc to organize and revise their ideas. Then they used Keynote to create slides for a presentation. During their presentation, a classmate filmed them using PhotoBooth. After the presentation, the student who filmed,cAirDropped the video file to their classmate while the rest of the students emailed the presenter with their feedback on one thing they thought he/she did well and one thing he/she needs to do to improve. At the same time, the teacher shared and filled in a rubric on Google Docs with feedback and their grade.
The student who presented then went into the hallway to watch the video, read the emails from classmates and read the teacher’s feedback on the rubric. All students will write a reflection about what aspects of their presentation they were proud of, and they will set goals for what aspects they would like to improve for their next presentation. The reflection, as well as the video of their presentation will be posted in their Language Arts website portfolio, which students’ parents will be able to view.
and then created their videos individually. Most students used their YouTube account for the first time on this project so we discussed creating channel names which protect their identity and how to add music to videos following copyright laws.
This year the Upper School library has twelve laptops that students and teachers can check out. Miss Malu's Historia class used the laptops to learn more about important events in México's history and practice paraphrasing and summarizing. Students worked in pairs to search for reliable information and write a summary of the event.
The addition of a temporary wireless hotspot, provided by the tech center, meant that students had a strong connection to the internet. 6th grade students were very excited to work on the laptops in the classroom. They were very motivated and worked well together, taking turns and sharing the responsibility.
Today, all 7th grade classes are using the 7th Grade Technology website to help students make the transition from Windows to Mac and get organized for the year. Students are also joining their teacher's Google Classroom. Google Classroom is a new way for students and teachers to share resources and assignments. There is excitement in the air!
The expectations of ASFG and the 8th grade teachers were also discussed at the meeting. This year, teachers will be using a Google Form to track 8th grade behavior with regard to laptop use in class. Students in 8th grade are expected to be respectful, responsible and kind as they use their laptops in class. In other words, they are expected to be good digital citizens.